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Canal Carping A Tale of Two Records
resulting in a mental fight and a fantastic 28lb 4oz mirror. After the ritual
of photographing them both, kissing
and releasing her, I settled down to a
further thirty hours’ blank. Such is the
canal, when they are gone, they are
properly gone, maybe miles away.
August 15th 2013, after a week’s
cat fishing in Kent I brought my
grandson, Rhys, back with me for our
annual boy’s fishing trip on the K and
A. Our home for the week was of
course Cyprinus Carpio, my executive
bivvy. We were joined by my mate,
Steve, to make up the team and help
with the locks. The intention was to
travel some distance to a more prolific
carping area so that Rhys could be
sure of a bit of action.
The first evening it was raining so
we decided to stop early and fish an
area I had been baiting for a couple of
months, having seen a few good fish
spawning there earlier in the year.
Steve and Rhys opted to fish at the
front, and I fished my baited area at
the back. I baited the hairs with
15mm Cell and tipped them with
15mm cubes of homemade Cell
floater cake, a method from my early
days that still works well, and the
bream don’t seem too keen on it.
Baits were cast out under the trees
with 20 free offerings around each
one. I had only fished the swim a couple of times that year, blanking both
times, so I was not over-confident.
The plan was to move on in the morn-
56 FREE LINE
ing when it should have stopped raining. At about 1.30am a one-toner
resulted in a heavy but subdued fight
lasting no more than five minutes. To
say I was shocked to see the big fully
scaled roll into the net would be a
gross understatement! I could not
comprehend not only the size but
where she was, a place I had never
expected to see her, as she would
have to have gone through a few
locks to get there!
We spent a few blurred minutes
weighing and rechecking the 46lb 4oz
weight in disbelief, a massive weight
gain of five pounds in a year and a
(Above) 22lb.
(Bottom) A new canal PB common at
30lb 4oz.
half. Pictures were taken on Steve’s
camera before I kissed her and gently
slid her back. As I did so another
screaming run resulted in a 29lb mirror. What a result! A new British canal
carp record, and it was so nice that
my grandson was there to see it.
Strangely, just that last evening, I had
been telling Steve and Rhys the stories of past captures of her and shown
them pictures of her at various
weights from 19lb 8oz. We moved off
the next day and both
Steve and Rhys had a few
commons to mid-teens. I
blanked, but was happy
to pass the time fishing
the quiver for silver fish
with a big, fat smile on my
face.
The latest capture was
just under a year later on
20th June 2014 when she
weighed a little heavier at
a new British canal best
of 47lb 2oz. This time I
was fishing alone in an
area that I had seen
spawning activity and
thought I saw her among
them. I baited the area for
a couple of weeks, this
time with Hybrid. The
boat was already there, as
I had done a couple of
blank nights earlier in the
week. It was a warm,

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